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Proceeding by regulation, Obama can inflict enormous damage on the Second Amendment. In fact, without even following the normal regulatory process, the Obama administration has already imposed a requirement that gun sellers in any state bordering Mexico must report the purchase of any two semi-automatic long guns within a week to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. BATFE then keeps a permanent registration record of that purchaser.
In the NRA’s view, this requirement is a flagrant violation of the federal statute prohibiting BATFE from ordering licensed firearm dealers to submit any information other than what the federal statute itself requires. Yet so far, the Obama administration has gotten away with this unilateral gun registration scheme.
Federal law also gives the attorney general discretion to classify many firearms, particularly shotguns of 28-ga. or larger, as “destructive devices.” Once something is designated a destructive device, continuing to possess it requires one to undergo the same arduous process as if the individual was buying a fully automatic gun.
Some environmental extremists have already filed suit demanding that the Obama administration outlaw the use of lead in ammunition, pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act. Thus far, the Environmental Protection Agency has opposed the lawsuit, but if the EPA were to switch positions for political reasons, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Obama could opt to drastically expand bans on gun imports. In 1968, the Gun Control Act gave the president the discretion to ban guns that were supposedly not suitable or adaptable to sporting purposes. No administration has ever lost a court case on import bans. In Obama’s first term, his administration produced a “study” imposing new limits on shotgun importation and also blocked the import of 800,000 M1 Garand rifles from South Korea. (These rifles, ironically, had originally been manufactured in the United States.)
A mere three weeks after the election, Obama began rolling out a barrage of regulations that had been kept quiet until after the election. These long-prepared and long-concealed regulations will drastically affect the economy, the environment and public health. Expect a similar blizzard of anti-gun regulations when Obama decides the time is right.
The practical response to these Obama regulations would be for Congress to pass statutes overturning them. This can be done. However, President Obama can veto a new statute, and it takes a two-thirds majority of each house of Congress to overturn a veto. Overturning a presidential veto is very difficult under any circumstances, and getting a two-thirds override in the Senate would likely be impossible.
Worse yet may be what the Obama administration does in the core constitutional duty of the presidency: to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” We already know what happened in the first Obama term. With the full knowledge of (at least) attorney General Eric Holder’s top assistants, “Operation Fast and Furious” arranged for the illegal delivery of over 2,000 firearms to Mexican drug cartels. The Obama/Holder administration then tried to use the “discovery” of these same firearms at Mexican crime scenes to build support for restricting Second Amendment rights.
“Fast and Furious” was a flagrant violation of federal criminal law, but nobody has been prosecuted for it. Once it was exposed, a few people were forced to resign, while others were transferred to different jobs. The Obama administration’s cover-up began the day that “Fast and Furious” was exposed, and has continued ever since.
During the 1990s, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre pointed out how the Clinton administration said that criminal gun violence proved the need to impose many new and oppressive gun controls. Yet at the same time, the Clinton administration rarely did much to enforce the existing federal laws against gun possession by convicted violent felons. Was “Fast and Furious” an even more direct effort by some in the administration to promote gun crime, and then use it as a springboard for gun control?
We don’t know, and may never know, the true agenda behind “Fast and Furious.” What other schemes might we not know about? What other deadly and cynical anti-Second Amendment plans are being implemented as we speak? We do know that President Obama convinced attorney General Holder (an anti-gun veteran of the Clinton administration) to stay on—even though (or because?) Holder repeatedly obstructed the congressional investigation into “Fast and Furious.”
When the nation’s top law enforcement officers are hostile to the Second Amendment, they can cause nearly unlimited damage. The Clinton administration devastated the ranks of federally licensed firearm dealers, driving out of business most of the people who were operating low-volume, second businesses at home, fully complying with all federal laws.
Meanwhile, dangers in some states are greater than ever.
The anti-gun lobby has grown far more dangerous than before since the gun-ban lobby today has a new national leader: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Unlike the Brady Campaign, he does not depend on donations from supporters. His wealth is well over a billion dollars. He has an unlimited capacity to hire lobbyists and dump money into political campaigns. All of the campaign finance “reform” laws that have been created with the express purpose of crippling the NRA membership’s ability to participate in elections have also been written with deliberate loopholes to magnify the power of anti-gun billionaires like Bloomberg and George Soros.
In California, New York and Colorado, both houses of the legislature are now in the hands of majorities that are strongly anti-gun. Bloomberg’s lobbyists are going to be all over these state capitols, pushing dozens of harshly restrictive new gun laws.
California and New York together have 18 percent of the entire U.S. population. There will be an immediate attempt to make those already oppressive laws considerably worse.
Colorado will be a particular target for Bloomberg. Every anti-gun law passed there will be hailed by the national media as the beginning of a new trend—as the type of law which ought to be passed in every state. Any bad laws that come out of Colorado will endanger almost every other state.
In the campaign against the Second Amendment, you can be quite sure that Obama and Bloomberg will say anything, no matter how untrue, in order to advance their anti-gun agenda. Obama has repeatedly claimed that so-called “assault weapons” (all of which are semi-automatics) that he wants to outlaw are fully automatic battlefield weapons.
As soon as Obama took office, he and his administration began claiming that 90 percent of Mexican crime guns come from the United States. The truth is, the correct figure was closer to 12 percent, at least before the Obama administration’s “Operation Fast and Furious” began funneling guns from the United States to Mexican drug cartels.
And when the Obama administration was caught supplying over 2,000 firearms to Mexican drug cartels under the guise of “Fast and Furious,” Obama insisted that operation had begun under President George W. Bush, which is not true.
Most of the so-called “mainstream” media have always been a willing tool for the gun-prohibition lobbies, but Bloomberg is even more powerful: He is the media. Bloomberg Media is a vast conglomerate with 2,300 employees who produce, publish and broadcast news worldwide. The Bloomberg content is carried not only in Michael Bloomberg’s own publication, but is republished in newspapers and other media all over the nation.
Simply put, in terms of money and lobbyists, the gun-prohibition lobby is stronger than ever. And with the gun-prohibition programs that Obama has publically advocated during his entire career, the United States now has the most anti-gun president in its history. Now, the president is immune from any electoral worries about pro-rights voters. Remember, just last year Obama promised Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev more “flexibility” about weakening U.S. missile defenses once the election was over. That flexibility will surely extend to gun restrictions.
Four years from now, will the Second Amendment be mostly intact, or will it be a crippled relic of President Barack Obama’s promise to “fundamentally transform” America? If the Second Amendment does survive, it will only be because NRA Members and friends of liberty politically and socially mobilized like never before.
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America's 1st Freedom
NRA's pure news magazine especially for our membership. Its mission is to deliver professional, compelling, accurate, timely and hard-hitting journalism that tells the truth about the threats to our Second Amendment rights.